One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A white, odorless, crystalline powder used in ointments as a local anesthetic and to protect against sunburn.
- ‘Prior to insertion, the nasopharynx and oropharynx should be anesthetized with a topical spray such as benzocaine.’
- ‘Over-the-counter drugs such as carbamide peroxide, benzocaine, menthol, or eucalyptol can lessen the pain.’
- ‘Some women find colposcopy very painful while others hardly notice it, according to a clinical trial testing topical benzocaine and ibuprofen against placebo.’
- ‘Local anaesthetics - for example benzocaine, lignocaine are used in both lozenges and throat sprays.’
- ‘An ear drop for pain relief is one that normally contains an anesthetic or an anti-inflammatory, such as an analgesic otic solution or an earache drop comprising antipyrine or benzocaine.’
1920s: from benzoic acid + -caine (from cocaine).
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